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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

The Prayer Of Jesus For Unity



Sermon of the Week #200627 – July 2, 2006

The seventeenth chapter of the gospel according to John is the chapter that has the prayer of Jesus for unity in several areas. For one thing there was unity between the Father and the Son when the plans were made to create the universe.


In His prayer Jesus reminded the Father that He loved Him before the world was, and again He said, “Before the foundation of the world.” Before the world was and before the foundation of the world, there was God, and there was Jesus Christ.

Genesis begins by telling us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The gospel of John says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, the same was in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that hath been made.” Since Moses said, “God did it”, and John said, “Jesus did it”, God the Father, and God the Son, were united in the creation of the universe.

If anyone would ask, “Why do you believe that the universe was created by God the Father, and Jesus Christ, rather than by evolution?” I would give an apostolic answer. In Romans one, Paul gives the most sensible explanation for creation when he says: “For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity.”

And then Paul said this, “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness and image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”

And then He finishes this thought with God’s view of unbelief, “Wherefore God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: for, they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

In the Book of Job, God asked Job a hard question that questioned the reasoning of his finite mind. He asked him, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth, and the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy?”

When God and the Lord Jesus Christ created the universe before man was created, the morning stars sang together. What they sang must have sounded like “How Great Thou Art” and they shouted something that sounded like “WOW! Way to go Lord. Way to go!” Then again there is also unity here in the humanity and the divinity of Jesus.


In this prayer Jesus reminded the Father that He was “He whom Thou didst send.” When Gabriel made the birth announcement of Jesus to Mary, he said, “The power of the Most High shall overshadow thee wherefore the Holy thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of God.” Jesus was human in the flesh and divine in Spirit. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. His flesh always submitted to the will of His Divinity.

Sometimes the flesh was in the ascendancy and at other times it was the Spirit that was in the ascendancy. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane it was His flesh that said, “Let this cup pass away from Me.” But it was His Spirit that said, “Not My will, but thine be done.” This prayer was prayed three times, and the result was the same each time; the flesh always agreed with the Spirit.

After fasting forty days, the Devil tempted Him to turn stones into bread. This was a great temptation. His flesh wanted to do it. Later Jesus demonstrated His power to do this when He fed the thousands with a few loaves and fishes. In this temptation the flesh said, “Go ahead, do it. Turn that stone into bread.” It was His Divinity that said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The flesh agreed with the Divine.

It was a great temptation when the Devil took Him to the pinnacle of the Temple and asked Him to jump. What a demonstration of His power that would be! The world would follow a man who could do this. Bypass the cross; this is the way. The flesh cried loudly, “Jump Lord, jump!” The Spirit said, “Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord Thy God.” The flesh and the Divine agreed.

Then when the Devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, what a temptation! The Devil showed Him the United States. He showed Him the Statue of Liberty; he showed Him a country from the prairie to the purple mountains majesty, from sea to shining sea, and said, “Jesus, it is all yours. You can have it, if you worship me.” The flesh said, “Take one bow Lord, just one, take it.” But the Spirit said, “Thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God and Him only shalt Thou serve.” There was unity with the flesh and the Spirit in every temptation. Now we take notice of the unity there is unity in the kingdom of darkness.


Jesus mentioned this when He said in His prayer, “I have given them Thy word and the world hated them because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.” The Devil is opposed to everything in the program of salvation of the world. And he is not alone. All areas of the kingdom of darkness are united in the program to damn your soul. Paul mentions several areas in the Devil’s kingdom: principalities, powers, rulers of this world’s darkness, and a host of wickedness in high places.

When Pilate, the governor of Judea, was made aware that Jesus was a Galilean, he saw a way out of his problem. This is no concern of mine. Pilate sent him to Herod, king of Galilee, who himself was in Jerusalem at that time. Herod had always wanted to meet Jesus and at last he has his chance. He wants Jesus to show him some tricks. Work a miracle for me, Jesus. One rock song has a line of derision in it spoken by King Herod, “Come on Jesus, I’m no fool, walk across my swimming pool.” Jesus would not oblige. So Herod sent Him back to Pilate. Luke says Pilate and Herod, up to this time, were enemies, but now became friends. The enemies of Jesus are always united against Christ.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were enemies of Jesus. Paul tells us the Sadducees did not believe there were angels or spirits. The Pharisees believed both. They hated each other, but formed an alliance in their all-out effort to crucify Jesus. The enemies of Christ always unite in their effort to destroy Christ or the Church, the body of Christ.

The kingdom of darkness is just as real as any physical nation. The Devil has convinced millions that he does not exist. The only reason you cannot see the Devil and many of the demons that surround us at all times is because they live in a different frequency. Turn on the radio to the AM dial and you hear this program. If you turn the switch to the FM dial you may get another program at the same place on the dial as the AM station. It is all in the difference of the frequency. If we could somehow switch from the physical frequency to the spiritual frequency you would see the Devil and a host of demons leering at you. Their forked tongues and their cold-blooded eyes with that malevolent gaze concentrated on you. They hate you with a hatred that can come only from the depths of the bottomless pit. Never, never, never forget that all the forces and energies of the kingdom of darkness are united against us. Now we must notice another area of unity. The Apostles of Christ are united in their belief in the scripture as the inspired Word of God.


In this prayer of unity Jesus prayed, “I have manifested Thy name unto the men whom Thou hast given Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou hast given them to Me and they have kept Thy word.” And then He repeated it again, “The words which Thou gavest Me, I have given unto them; and they received them, and know of a truth that I came forth from Thee unto Me, and they believed that Thou didst send Me.

To make sure the Apostles gave us the right message Jesus had already told them, “When He the Holy Spirit is come He will guide you into all the truth and bring to your remembrance all things that I said unto you.” Jesus could not trust the finite memory of the Apostles, so He promises to send the Holy Spirit to remind them what He said.

Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit when Mathew wrote the story of the feeding of the 5,000 he may have said, “Hey, John, how many fish did Jesus use at that big feed?” John may have said, “Oh I don’t remember, I think it was a boat load, and a half loaf of bread.” We can be sure when you read the scriptures that what you read is the real story, because the Holy Spirit brought all of it back to their memory.

It was Paul who put up this red flag regarding other books that claim to be of God when he said, “If any man preach any other gospel than that which we have preached, let him be accursed.” The Apostles definitely agreed on the Word of God as the only inspired revelation from God to fallen man. There was none other. There is also unity in the decision that Jesus should die on the cross.


It was the Father’s idea to send Jesus to die on the cross. In the Garden of Eden God said, “The seed of the woman shall crush the head of the serpent and the serpent shall bruise His heel.” In this prayer Jesus said that life eternal was to know God and Him whom Thou didst send even Jesus Christ. God said somebody has to go and redeem the human race. God sent Jesus to do it.

Paul also tells us how Jesus agreed with that decision in Philippians two, “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross.”

And one more note. We also know that Jesus agreed with this plan because at that great Summit Meeting on the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus of His decease that He would accomplish at Jerusalem.

Two men had come down from glory for this Summit Meeting and the only thing they discussed, the only thing on the table that day was the crucifixion that was engineered by the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation. There was complete unity between the Father and the Son about the price of our salvation. There was also unity about the Judge on the Judgment Day.


That decision was unanimous also as to who will preside on the Judgment Day. In this prayer Jesus said the Father had given Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom Thou hast given Me I should give eternal life. Paul, on Mars Hill, informed them that God had appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through that Man whom He hath ordained inasmuch as He hath raised Him from the dead.

Jesus also said that He would be the Judge on that day when John recorded the words of Jesus when He said, “For neither doth the Father judge any man, but He hath given all judgment unto the Son; that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent Him.”

According to Jesus you cannot honor the Heavenly Father unless you honor Jesus at the same time. These statements give verification as to whom it is that shall sit on the Great White Throne as recorded by John in Revelation, “From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no room for them.” Then there is that final event where we learn that if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. Last of all we must note there was unity in the body of Christ.


Much of the longest recorded prayer of Jesus concerned the unity of all those who would believe on Him through the word of the Apostles. That prayer of Jesus was answered on the Day of Pentecost; the day when the Church began. Jews had come from all parts of the world, and had come to the feast. Thousands heard the Apostles preach the first gospel message. According to the definition of the gospel by Paul, the gospel is identified as the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The Apostles recounted that story, and accused the people of killing Jesus. When they heard what they had done to the Son of God, they were terrified, and cried out in anguish asking what they could do? They were told, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

They then that received his word were baptized and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. All three thousand did the same thing; believing that Jesus had died for their sins, they all repented and were baptized. Three chapters later it was said that they were all of one heart and soul. The prayer of Jesus had been answered. I pray that they all might be one.

Today it is obvious that something went wrong. How can we account for all the division and all the various denominational names and practices? I believe the answer is very simple. In Revelation 22:18, 19 we read, “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part of the tree of life, and out of the Holy City, which are written in this book.”

Some false prophets add unto the Word, and some take away from the Word. Who are these people who either add unto, or take away from the Word of God? The answer is modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees.

The ancient as well as modern Sadducees were liberals. There were certain parts of the Word of God they did not regard as inspired of the Holy Spirit, and took away from the book of this prophecy. God has promised they shall not eat of the tree of life.

The ancient as well as modern Pharisees believe the Word of God was inspired by the Holy Spirit. But then they added to the Word of God, by adding their opinions to the Word, and then withdrawing fellowship from everybody that did not agree that their opinion was inspired of the Holy Spirit. God has promised to send some plagues to them.

Will the followers of Jesus ever be united again? The answer is yes. Unity will come once more, and we will be of one heart and soul, because Paul says Jesus must reign, till He hath put all His enemies under His feet, and the last enemy that shall be abolished is death. Since division is an enemy, it will be put under His feet just before the trumpet sounds, and death is abolished, and only then can it be said, “We are of one heart and soul, and united again.”